Something as simple as the golden rule can change the way you conduct meetings. The ‘You be me, I’ll be you’ exercise builds on the idea that understanding a coworkers actions and the reasons behind them helps build teamwork. It’s not unlike the same lessons we learned as kids with more complex dynamics. Episode 108 of the meeting leadership podcast continues our Meeting Leadership exercises, where you can get an example of how to instill this at your meetings.

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FULL TRANSCRIPT 00:00 – Show Opening Are you a meeting leader who’s got someone in their meetings who just doesn’t get it? I mean, they just don’t have any self-awareness at all and what they are doing is slowing all of you down. Well, today on the Meeting Leadership Podcast, you’re going to learn a technique that’s going to help to turn that around. 00:42 – Podcast content starts here! Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard. Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard, and I just want to say thank you so much for being here. Thank you for being the type of leader, the type of professional who wants to take their game up another notch. You want to pick up one more leadership skill. You want to pick up another strategy, something that you can take into your next meeting to make it better because you know that when you do, that’s going to not only sort of have a good impact on your team, but it’ll influence your entire organization and you know that from that one meeting it’ll flow through to the way that you actually ultimately serve your customers and your community. It is great to have you here. 01:20 – Welcome to the 4th installment of Meeting Leadership Exercises – MLP 088 Gordon Sheppard: And for any leader that really wants to sort of up their game when it comes to self-awareness, welcome to the fourth installment of Meeting Leadership Exercises. Now today, we’re going to be talking about the you be me and I’ll be you self-awareness technique. Now, you might remember when I brought Tracy Caroll, my wife and a theater professional who really understands a lot about behavior back in episode 88. She actually was involved with the one that we called the repetition technique for active listening. And you can get that episode by going to 01:54 – The value of self-awareness Gordon Sheppard: And if you are a leader who is aware of the value of self-awareness, then you’re going to really appreciate today’s episode because today it’s the fourth installment of our Meeting Leadership Exercises. These are demos. I do them with my wife Tracy. Hey Tracy, great to have you here. Tracy Carroll: Hey Gord. 02:10 – You Be Me, and I’ll Be You Gordon Sheppard: And this one today is called the you be me and I’ll be you self-awareness technique. Now, for those of you who have caught up with these Meeting Leadership Exercises in the past, for example, on episode 88 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast, it was called the repetition technique for active listening. And again, Tracy and I did a demo there. You can learn from it right away. And I think the big thing about these episodes is you can really put things into action because you kind of hear an actual example. Well today, Tracy, you know we’re going to be getting into the you be me and I’ll be you. Gordon Sheppard: Now, temporarily switching identities, this can be a really good way to get to know each other in a meeting. They need a high level of trust if you’re going to try and pull this one off. So big asterix, big warning. Got to be a really strong facilitator who knows how to run this because it’s not like kind of charades at home where you can kind of work things out. This is in a work setting. But again, if you’ve got some people who are doing things during meetings that are not productive, has that ever happened for you? Tracy Carroll: Oh yeah. That’s the definition of meetings sometimes. 03:12 – The Setup: Susan from Accounting and Eric from HR Gordon Sheppard: Are meetings, right? This is one of the fastest ways to help people to become self-aware. And today we’re going to give it a specific example. Here’s the idea. You could be like Susan from accounting, let’s say in a work setting. Tracy Carroll: Yes. Gordon Sheppard: All right. Let’s just say another person in the meeting was Eric. And Eric is from the human resource department. Now, for five minutes during the meeting, if I was the facilitator, what I could do is if some things that were driving us crazy before the meeting, I’d stop to say, “Okay, Susan, Eric, we need to point out a few things that are going on here. We’re going to try the you be me and I’ll be you exercise and we’re about to kind of launch into it.” Gordon Sheppard: Now, what this does, it’s going to give Susan kind of a playful chance to dig into some of Eric’s quirks, but specifically the things that are holding us back from having a really solid meeting based on Eric’s behavior, right? Now, we want to make sure it doesn’t get too personal. And again, I would jump in if it did as the facilitator. But right now if you could just jump in and I’ve had that moment I’ve said, “Okay. Susan, Eric, just stop for a second. We really want to get a few things off our chest here. We’re going to use this technique. Susan, take the floor. Go ahead.” 04:12 – The meeting – Eric’s late arrival Tracy Carroll: Okay, I’m just going to pretend to be coming in from the door. “Oh, hi guys. Sorry I’m late. My dog swallowed a glove and I had to take him to the vet and it was just kind of a nightmare. I really apologize. I’m really sorry I’m late. But I do have really quite a few things to talk about in this meeting. So I really hope that we can get to all of them. And I have a little list here. So, if I can just pass those out and just give you all the points I want to talk about and again, apologies.” 04:39 – The facilitator’s response Gordon Sheppard: Thanks very much Susan. And I think for all of us that know Eric. Eric, thank you so much. You can imagine me as the facilitator talking to Eric to calm him down for a sec. And I’m going to jump in as the facilitator and say, “Susan, let me pick up on the things that you really wanted to point out. I noticed that you started, because we all know this, sometimes Eric is late, is that right?” Tracy Carroll: Yes. All the time. Gordon Sheppard: And that really kind of rubs you the wrong way. Yeah? Tracy Carroll: Yeah. It’d be great if we all met here at the same time for the meeting. Gordon Sheppard: And again, if you can imagine, Eric is in the meeting right now and he’s hearing these things for the first time to be made aware of them. And the second thing that you did was you were speaking really quickly. Is that something that Eric does as well? Tracy Carroll: It is. He tries to cram a lot of information into a short amount of time. Gordon Sheppard: And what does that do to our meetings? Tracy Carroll: Well, it’s just not super clear. There’s sort of too much information. If he was clear with the agenda, then we can go back and really talk about those things and then he can maybe be quiet for that moment and then move on to the next thing. Gordon Sheppard: Great. I would say at that point as a facilitator, “Susan, thank you so much for clearing those things up.” And then at this point you’ve got a chance as a facilitator to say, “Eric, do you agree with these things?” Now, for the most part, if they’re obvious, people are going to acknowledge it. Again, we’re not here to attack personally. What we are trying to say then as a facilitator is, “Eric, overall you do a great job for the company. There’s so many things that you do do during meetings. For example, you remember the last time when you were talking about how the meeting that we are in actually affects our strategy and moves things forward.” You would pull in some positive things. You would then try and balance it out to allow Eric to be self reflective. And this type of self-awareness exercise, Tracy, do you think this would work to help Eric move faster? Tracy Carroll: As long as he puts his head in his hand and realizes that we’re having fun, yes. Gordon Sheppard: The humility of it is really important, right? But for high performing teams, when you think about it, it’s not just about being nice to each other, right? Because they’re going to acknowledge that if we get through this and we get more done during a meeting, it’ll be more profitable and more productive. Tracy Carroll: Yep. Gordon Sheppard: Tracy, thanks again for being on. Tracy Carroll: Thanks Gord. 06:36 – More Meeting Leadership Exercises – MLP 088 – MLP 81 Gordon Sheppard: Really good to have you here. And again, catch up with those Meeting Leadership Exercises episodes. I’m going to mention a few of them right now. In episode 81 we talked about the pros and cons technique for managing disagreements. You can get that one by going to And I also want to mention episode 88 where we explored the repetition technique for active listening. And you can get that episode by going to And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. 07:06 – Meeting Leadership Academy – Gordon Sheppard: Now, if you’re looking for the kind of self-awareness things that you’re hearing in this episode, you’re looking for great tips about agendas, how to be a better facilitator, how to connect every meeting directly to your strategy and you want to do that in a live workshop setting or get great online resources, then visit to learn more. And if you haven’t done it yet, make sure to hit the subscribe button and leave a rating and review. It will definitely influence all the great programming that we’re ringing up on future episodes. And as always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. 07:48 – Podcast Outro Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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